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Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta with Kale
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Burst cherry tomatoes, tender kale leaves, and a sprinkling of basil are the perfect accompaniment to this creamy vegan pasta.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: plant-based, vegan, vegetarian, weeknight dinner
Servings: 4
Calories: 590 kcal
What you need
For the Sauce
  • 1 cup raw cashews soaked in warm water for at least 30 mins and up to overnight, strained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
For the Pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 lb kale stems removed, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb whole wheat farfalle or penne
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
What you do
Cook Pasta
  1. Boil water in your favorite pasta pot. Add pasta, about 2 tablespoons of salt, and cook according to package directions.

Start Sauce
  1. Put all of the ingredients for the sauce (except pasta water) into a food processor or high powered blender (I used a Vitamix) and set aside. You'll mix it up when you've got the pasta water.
Sauté Veggies
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet (preferably with high sides). Add the cherry tomatoes and cook 5 minutes over medium-high heat, tossing halfway through cooking time. Season with ½ teaspoon salt. They should get nice and blistered, almost melted. Add in the kale, season with salt and pepper. Add a little extra olive oil if pan seems dry. Sauté kale until tender but still bright green, about 5 more minutes.
Toss pasta with vegetables
  1. By this time your pasta should be done. Reserve two cups of pasta water, then drain and add pasta to the skillet with tomatoes and kale. Season the pasta with pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, toss with the vegetables. Add 1/2 cup pasta water to your food processor or blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients and blend 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy, adding more pasta water if necessary.

Final touches
  1. Add sauce into pasta and toss (add more pasta water if it still seems dry). Tear fresh basil over everything and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.


Make sure you use PLENTY of pasta water in your sauce. It should be a little runny and easy to toss with the pasta, not gloppy.

Adjust salt as needed if you add too much water.

If your pan isn’t big enough to toss everything together, transfer to a large bowl.

This dinner could probably serve 6, but it is so good that people will want seconds. My family of four nearly finished the whole thing.